Due to the New Years holiday, this was another short trading week. Cryptocurrencies rose, bonds fell, and all other asset classes were mixed. The largest gains were in Bitcoin, which continued to climb, adding another 18.3% and closing at a new all-time high of 484 grams. Ethereum was not far behind, rising 15.8%. Copper (down 2.0%) and the HUI gold stocks (off 1.1%) had the largest losses.
National currencies were mostly lower; only the Canadian Dollar posted a gain, and that was a meager 0.1%. The US Dollar fell the most, dropping 0.7%. The Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen fell 0.3% each. Short term treasury notes tracked USD cash, sliding 0.7%, but long term bonds did a bit better, holding their loss to 0.4%.
Cryptocurrencies were on fire, as Bitcoin rose 18.3% to a new all-time high, and Ether gained 15.8%. Over the weekend, both pushed even higher. The broader index of 30 cryptos added 7.9%.
Equity markets were mixed, with the Japanese Nikkei the clear winner, rising 2.6%; the S&P 500 trailed, gaining 0.8%. Gold stocks were down 1.1% and the European STOXX fell 0.9%.
Outside of the cryptos, platinum was the best performer, rising 3.8%. Silver rose 1.9% and cotton gained 1.7%. Copper fell 2.0%, the week's largest loss. Crude oil and palladium were also losers, but declined just 0.2% apiece.
Looking back on 2020, we see that the cryptocurrencies had by far the largest gains, as Ether rose 352.2% and Bitcoin gained 227.4%. Silver and copper were the only other assets in the black for the year, with gains of 17.8% and 0.7% respectively. Crude oil and coffee were the year's worst performers, falling 36.9% and 20.6%. In third place was the US Dollar, down 19.8%. I will be putting together a more comprehensive report on 2020 soon.
Wishing you all an excellent and happy 2021!
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